Einstein's Philosophy of Physics

Einstein starts as a Kantianist, but becomes a Hegelian while doing physics.

• Kant. Many people wrote about Kant's influence on Einstein. Since I cannot read Kant's long sentences (sometimes, one sentence covering two pages), I went to to the city where Kant spent the 80 years of his entire life. I then learned how Kant was influenced by his environment. I finally became aware of what Einstein inherited from Kant.

• Einstein observed that Maxwell's electromagnetic theory and Newton's mechanics do not obey the same transformation law. He then developed a Lorentz-covariant mechanics.

• Hegel. Einstein observed that the energy-momentum relation takes different forms for slow and fast (and massless) particles. From those two contrasting formulas, he derived his energy momentum relation resulting in his celebrated E = mc2.

• Einstein thus combined both Kant and Hegel while carrying out these two history-making projects. The bridge between these Kant and Hegel is the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism.

• Thus, Einsteinism combines these three philosophical disciplines and tells us how to do physics.

• I was thus practicing Einsteinism when I was working on the following projects.

1. Massive and Massless Particles. Their internal space-time symmetries are different. Can we find one symmetry covering both?

2. The quark and parton models are applicable to slow and fast protons respectively. They appear to be quite different. Is it possible to construct one picture applicable to both?

3. This table summarizes what I said above. You may click here for a story.

Einstein's World  Massive/Slow between Massless/Fast
 Energy Momentum E=p2/2m Einstein's E=(m2 + p2)1/2 E=p
 Spin, Gauge, Helicity S3 S1 S2 Wigner's Little Group Helicity Gauge Trans.
 Hadrons, Bound States Gell-Mann's Quark Model One Lorentz-Covariant Entity Feynman's Parton Picture

I was fortunate enough to present an invited talk on this subjectat the the 32nd Congress of the Italian Society of Historians of Physics and Astronomy (Rome, Italy, September 2012).